Las Vegas: Erica Enders preview

Enders ready for a qualifying streak LAS VEGAS -- When Erica Enders moved into the Pro Stock ranks of the NHRA POWERade Series, she knew it was going to be the toughest form of racing yet. Still, Enders and the rest of the Cagnazzi Racing Chevy...

Enders ready for a qualifying streak

LAS VEGAS -- When Erica Enders moved into the Pro Stock ranks of the NHRA POWERade Series, she knew it was going to be the toughest form of racing yet. Still, Enders and the rest of the Cagnazzi Racing Chevy Cavalier team had high expectations.

They expected the team would earn the right to play with the rest of the top qualifiers on Sunday. They expected to see the 21-year-old Houston native battling for round victories.

They also expected the rest of the fierce Pro Stock competition might have the same goals.

"The competition is amazing and just when you think it can't be any tougher to qualify for the eliminations, the entire category steps up and gets even better," Enders said. "I think our team is doing a fantastic job of competing and we're making improvements every week. It's exciting being able to compete."

Coming off a first round loss at her hometown track in Houston, Enders is already anxious to get to the next race. The next event is the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend, April 15-17.

"Vegas is always a fun place to go and it's even more fun to race there," Enders said. "The entire team goes out to dinner together every night and we always pick a great place. I'm finally a legal age, so I'm sure we will try some slot machines for fun too.

"We've qualified for a couple of races and I think Houston gave us a little momentum because we can see the improvement. The guys work so hard and that hard work is going to pay off. I'm hoping we start a qualifying streak this weekend."

The rookie already has fond memories of The Strip. Team owner Victor Cagnazzi hired Enders to drive the car during the summer of 2004, and she was licensed as a Pro Stock driver at The Strip in the fall.

"It seems like we have been busy since day one," Enders said. "We worked so hard during the offseason and it hasn't slowed down at all. I raced at The Strip in October in my Super Comp car and knowing that's where I got my license makes me more excited about racing there."

Knowing the team is capable of being more competitive each week is also aiding her excitement to race in Las Vegas.

"The guys told me to keep doing my job on the starting line and they are going to keep doing their job of making this Cagnazzi car go quicker and quicker," Enders said. "We've had a lot of good things going for us lately. We've qualified, we've added Chicago Pneumatic as a sponsor and it's still real early in the season. Plus, we keep having fun and that's the best part."

All the action can be seen on ESPN2 starting with the qualifying show at 10 p.m. (ET) on Saturday followed by the eliminations at 7 p.m. (ET) on Sunday.

-gs-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NHRA